Thursday 29 February 2024
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Expelled Labour councillor criticises ‘incompetent’ Nottingham City Council

A councillor expelled from the Labour Party has claimed he was kicked out in a bid to “derail” his plans to challenge the leadership at Nottingham City Council following allegations he has links to a group banned by the party.

Hassan Ahmed, who represents the Radford ward, was expelled from the party ahead of the upcoming Nottingham City Council election on May 4.

Two weeks ago a Labour Party spokesperson confirmed Mr Ahmed was no longer a member of the Labour Party and would not be standing for Labour as a candidate.

No reason was given at the time, however, it has since come to light Mr Ahmed is alleged to have previously involved himself with a group called Labour Against the Witchhunt.

Screenshot 2023 04 04 at 19.47.59
Hassan Ahmed

The group has been denounced and banned by the Labour Party, having started campaigns against what it believes are politically-motivated allegations of antisemitism within the party.

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In a four-page statement Mr Ahmed now claims he was expelled in a bid to “derail” plans he had to challenge the city council’s current leadership.

However, a Labour source says Mr Ahmed was given the opportunity to submit evidence to the party’s governing body, the National Executive Committee (NEC), but the disciplinary panel did not find the evidence sufficient enough.

In a statement Mr Ahmed said: “The party has refused to share the allegation made against me with the media because, frankly, they had neither grounds nor justification to expel me.

“However, in their last-minute, desperate efforts to find something against me before the upcoming Nottingham City Council elections in May and the closure of nominations on April 4, they used a petition from 2018 which allegedly had my name on it, which was initiated by an organisation ‘Labour Against the Witchhunt (LAW).

“I am alleged to have signed the petition, from which the Labour Party has interpreted that I therefore supported that organisation.

“Let me make it categorically clear that I have never been a member of LAW, and that I did not sign the petition.”

In the statement Mr Ahmed also openly criticised the council’s leadership.

His reasoning for the criticism includes the loss of almost £40m in the collapse of Robin Hood Energy, which he describes as a “good project” that was poorly managed, as well as cuts to local services such as children’s centres.

“While leaders were trying to close libraries and save a few thousand pounds, they were spending millions of pounds on expensive, external consultants to come and tell us what to do,” he adds.

“There is no doubt that successive Conservative Government cuts and austerity measures have caused great difficulties for local councils up and down the country, with the loss of millions of pounds of revenue funding.

“However our political leadership in Nottingham, through their total incompetence, ineptitude, lack of vision and poor decision-making skills have wreaked havoc on Nottingham and its people.”

Mr Ahmed said his legal challenge will “continue undeterred and with resolve”.

The Labour Party said: “The council leader has no role in the selection of candidates.

“The Local Government Committee, made up of local activists from Nottingham City, select the candidates for local elections.

“Mr Ahmed was expelled for support of an organisation that has been proscribed by the NEC.

“Such decisions are reached following proper consideration of evidence. Mr Ahmed provided representations as part of that process.

“Mr Ahmed voted with the Labour Group at Council for the Recovery and Improvement Plan in January 2021, and January 2022, and voted for the Budget set in 2020/21 and 2022/23.

“He failed to register a vote for the Budget in 2021/22 and 2023/24. This means he did not vote for, against or abstain but failed to attend the meeting to vote.”

The Local Government Committee has since selected Fozia Mubashar as the new Labour candidate for the Radford ward.

 

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